EV momentum speeding up in India

24 June 2011

NEW DELHI: To switch over to clean transport on a large scale, major investments, incentives and policies are being introduced across the globe. The Government in India has also accelerated its efforts to speed up the development, manufacturing and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). The rush is on to join the Clean Revolution in the EV sector.

The Department of Heavy Industry and industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) under the national mission for electric mobility, has recently roped in a consulting firm to chart out a roadmap for promoting electric vehicles in India.

The report aims to find answers to what could be the best option for India to promote electric vehicles, such as what sort of policy intervention would be required, and which incentives should be given.

The data will be based on opinions from various stakeholders, including companies and about 7,000 people, and the findings will be made public at the annual convention of SIAM, to be held on September in New Delhi.

Earlier in the Budget presentation this year, the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, proposed setting up a National Mission for hybrid and electric vehicles to encourage manufacturing and selling of alternative fuel-based vehicles in India.

Subsequently, a National Council for Electric Mobility headed by Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Minister was set up, as well as a National Board for Electric Mobility which has been formed at the secretary level.

In order to promote alternative fuel vehicles, the Budget for 2011-12 proposed a cut in excise duty on the development and manufacturing of hybrid vehicle kits to 5% from the existing 10%, plus full exemption of customs and countervailing duty (CVD) on the import of special hybrid parts.

Last year, the government also announced incentives of up to 20% on the ex-factory prices of electric vehicles, which was as high as Rs 1 lakh for an electric car sold in India during the remaining part of the 11th Plan 2010-11 and 2011-12.

At present, existing barriers to greater adoption of EVs include the higher cost of EVs, challenges in battery technology, limited range of EVs, lack of infrastructure, consumer mindset and inadequate government support.

It is believed that in order to resolve these barriers and for electric mobility to take off, continued government intervention and support, collaboration amongst various stakeholders, long term commitment with clearly defined short term and long term objectives, and a synergized, holistic approach is critical.

Explaining how India awaits an EV revolution, Aditi Dass, Program Manager, Cities & Regions, said, “Despite several challenges, the Indian automobile market seems to have great potential for EVs, and the National Mission for hybrid and electric vehicles is expected to add further impetus to the EV market”

See our work in: EVs and India

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